1. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan appointed Vice Chairman on BIS Board
Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan has been appointed as Vice Chairman of the board of the Bank for International Settlements.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, BIS fosters international cooperation amongst central banks with a view to ensuring global monetary and financial stability. The BIS board meets at least six times a year.
The BIS board includes US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.
The Board of Directors elects a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman from among its members each for a three-year term.
2. Justice AP Shah appointed as the Ethics Officer (Ombudsman) at BCCI
Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, was on 9 November 2015 appointed as the ethics officer (ombudsman) at Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He will preside as the sole decision maker on all conflict of interest issues plaguing Indian cricket.
The decision to appoint an ombudsman was taken at the Board's 86th Annual General Meeting to end the problem on conflict of interest in the Board. This is being considered as a BCCI’s clean-up operation.
The clean-up operation has been triggered by the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, which was investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed RM Lodha committee.
The apex court-appointed panel had suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years for their officials' involvement in the scandal.
3. India re-elected to UN Commission on International Trade Law
India on 9 November 2015 was re-elected by the General Assembly to a six year term on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
Apart from India, 22 other countries including the United States and Pakistan were also re-elected to the UNCITRAL.
The Monday election was the fifth election that India has won in 2015. The country also won the re-election to the UN Human Rights Council held in 2014.
In April 2015, the UN Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) elected India to the executive councils of UNICEF and the World Food Programme, the governing council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
4. World Science Day for Peace and Development 2015 observed
The World Science Day for Peace and Development, dubbed World Science Day, was observed on 10 November 2015 across the world. The theme for 2015 is Science for a Sustainable Future.
To mark the day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conducted several discussions, special campaigns, visits to science museums for school children, etc to raise awareness of benefits of science worldwide.
For 2015, the theme Science for a Sustainable Future is chosen against the backdrop of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as approved by the UN.
World Science Day was created as follow-up to the World Conference on Science, organized jointly by UNESCO and the International Council for Science in Budapest (Hungary) in 1999.
5. Richard Proud-chaired Independent Commission on Doping in Sports submitted its report to WADA
Richard Proud-chaired Independent Commission (IC) on Doping in Sports submitted its report to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The report was submitted on 9 November 2015 in Vienna, Switzerland.
WADA launched the IC in December 2014 to investigate the validity of allegations of doping practices, corrupt practices around sample collection, results management, etc that implicate Russian Government agencies, labs, athletes, coaches among others.
The allegations were based on a documentary titled Top Secret Doping: How Russia makes its Winners that was aired by the German television channel ARD.
Highlights of the repot
• The commission found that the allegations of widespread doping were substantiated by their investigation, and that far from being historical, many of the findings are still current in Russian sport today.
• There was a systematic level of doping that had been perpetuated by unscrupulous athlete support personnel and state agencies.
• The IC has recommended that WADA declare The All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to be Code noncompliant.
• The IC has recommended that WADA withdraw its accreditation of the Moscow laboratory as soon as possible and that its Director be permanently removed from his position.
• As the Moscow laboratory is unable to act independently, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) should suspend ARAF.
6. Govt invites bids to sell 5% stake in CONCOR
The government has initiated the process of 5 per cent stake sale in Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), which could fetch over Rs. 1,300 crore to the exchequer.
The Department of Disinvestment has initiated the process of engagement of merchant bankers and selling brokers for selling 5 per cent stake through the offer for sale (OFS) route.
Government holds 61.80 per cent stake in the logistics company which is under the administrative control of the Railways Ministry.
At current stock price of Rs. 1,414.90, the sale of 5 per cent stake would garner over Rs. 1,300 crore to the exchequer.
CONCOR provides logistics support such as Inland Container Depots, Domestic Container Terminals, transportation by rail and road, warehousing, storage and other value added solutions.
The government has budgeted to raise Rs. 69,500 crore through PSU disinvestments. Of this Rs. 41,000 crore is to be raised through minority stake sale in PSUs and another Rs. 28,500 crore through strategic sale.
With seven months of the fiscal over, the government has been able to raise Rs. 12,600 crore through stale sale in four PSUs as volatile market conditions have dented disinvestment plans.
7. Railways awards Rs.40,000 crore of projects in Bihar to GE, Alstom
Indian Railways awarded contracts to General Electric Co. (GE) and Alstom to set up diesel and electric locomotive factories in Bihar at a cost of about Rs.40,000 crore.
The award of the contracts—which will mark the first big foreign direct investment in the railway sector.
The diesel locomotive factory in Marhora will cost Rs.2,052 crore and the facility to manufacture electrical engines in Madhepura will require an investment of Rs.1,293.57 crore.
The projects, which will be closely monitored by the Prime Minister’s office, will involve manufacturing 1,000 diesel locomotives and 800 electric locomotives over the next 10 years and are together worth about Rs.40,000 crore.